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78 PART X: USE AND ADAPTATION OF SCRIPTS 



Uralic languages 

Europe's Uralic literary languages, Finnish, Estonian, and Hungarian, all have high 
and mid front rounded vowels, Finnish and Estonian also [ae], represented ortho- 
graphically by an umlaut — except that Finnish, like Swedish, uses y rather than u. Al- 
though archaic and rural varieties of standard Hungarian distinguish low and mid 
front unrounded vowels, they are not distinguished orthographically (or in current ur- 
ban speech). 

All three languages have distinctive vowel and consonant length. Consonant 
length is shown by doubling the consonant (or the first element of a digraph in Hun- 
garian, e.g. ssz for long sz [s]). Doubling is also used for vowel length in Finnish and 
Estonian; but Hungarian uses an acute accent, and combines umlaut and acute to give 
the distinctive diacritic in 6 it. 

Estonian has a distinction between light and heavy stressed syllables, involving 
a combination of tenseness, segment length, and pitch, but this is usually not shown 
orthographically. However, for long intervocalic obstruents (except [s]) Estonian 
writes /?, t, k,f, s in light stressed syllables, mdpp, tt, kk,ff, ss in heavy stressed syl- 
lables, e.g. kapi [kappi] 'cupboard (genitive)', kappi ["kappi] 'cupboard (illative)', 
where ["] symbolizes heavy stress. The short obstruents are written b 9 d, g, z word- 



table 59.20: Finnish Alphabet 



Letted 


Value 


Name 


A 


a 


[a] 


[a:] 


(B 


b) 


[b] 


[be:] 


(C 


c) 


M, [s] 


[se:] 


D 


d 


[d] 


[de:] 


E 


e 


[e] 


[e:] 


(F 


f) 


[f] 


M, [ef] 


G 


g 


[g] b 


[ge:] 


H 


h 


M 


[ho:] 


I 


i 


[i] 


m 


J 


J 


LJ] 


m 


K 


k 


M 


[ko:] 


L 


1 


[1] 


[ael], [el] 


M 


m 


[m] 


[asm], [em] 


N 


n 


[n] 


[aen], [en] 


O 





[0] 


[0:] 


P 


P 


[p] 


[pe:] 


(Q 


q) 


[kv] 


[ku:] 


R 


r 


[r] 


[aer], [er] 


S 


s 


[s] 


[aes], [es] 


T 


t 


[t] 


[te:] 


U 


u 


M 


[u:] 


V 


V 


[v] 


[ve:] 


(W 


w ! 


) c [v] 


['kaksois.ve:] 
'double v' 


(X 


x) 


[ks] 


[aeks], [eks] 


Y 


y 


[y] 


[y:] 


(Z 


z) 


[ts] 


[tset] 


A 


a 


M 


M 


O 


6 


[0] 


[01] 



a. The following are not considered separate 
letters of the alphabet: 

NG ng [rjrj] 
(S, Sh s, sh [J]) 

b. g has the value [g] only in unassimilated 
loanwords. 

c. w is not treated as distinct from v for pur- 
poses of alphabetical ordering. 



medially and -finally (short [f] does not occur here), but p, t, k, /, s word-initially, as 
in kabi [kapi] 'hoof . 

Finnish uses the digraph ng to represent [rj] (which occurs only long and intervo- 
calically, other than through assimilation of /n/ to a following velar), this being the 
only use of g in native words. 

Estonian has an extra vowel [y], written 3, and also has phonemically distinct 
(pre-)palatalized [t j ], [n j ], [s j ], and [l j ] in very restricted environments, the palataliza- 
tion not being shown orthographically. 

Hungarian has a more complicated consonant inventory, including palatals and 
affricates, and like Polish it makes widespread use of digraphs: [ts] is represented by 
c, as in most central and eastern European languages. A digraph with y represents a 
palatal in the case of gy [f], ty [c], ny [p]; ly originally represented a palatal lateral, but 
has now merged with [j]. A digraph with s represents a palatal in the case of cs [tj] 
and zs [3]. Among the voiceless fricatives, Hungarian has s for [J] but the digraph sz 
for [s] — a unique distribution among the modern languages of central and eastern Eu- 
rope, but one found elsewhere in earlier periods. All languages have basically non- 
phonemic stress, though Estonian has exceptions in words of foreign origin; stress is 
not indicated orthographically. Finnish and Estonian show Scandinavian influence in 
placing the special vowel letters at or near the end of the alphabet. 



Samples of Uralic languages 



Finnish 
j. Finnish: 



Kesainen sade a rapisee parekattoon. a Raystaan 

2. Transcription: 'kesaeinen 'sader 'rapise: 'paerek.kattoin 'raeystaein 

3. Gloss: summery rain patters into.shingle.roof of .eaves 



/. alta seinanrakoisista kay hienoinen 

2. alta 'seinaen,rakoisista 'kaey 'hienoinen 

j. from.under from.wall.cracks comes gentle 



tuulenhenkays ja 
'tuilen.herjkaeys ja 
wind.draft and 



1. hamahakinverkot katto-orsissa 

2. 'haemaehaekin.verkot 'katto.orsissa 
j. cobwebs in.roof.poles 



keinuvat ja 
'keinuvat ja 



heiluvat. 
'heiluvat 



swing and sway 



Joskus 
"joskus 
sometimes 



/. varpuset kayvat hyppimassa katolla. Hamaralla ullakolla vallitsee 

2. Varpuset 'kaeyvaet 'hyppimaessae "katolla 'haemaeraellae 'ullakolla 'vallitse: 

3. sparrows come hopping on.roof dark on.garret reigns 



j. salaperainen 

2. 'sala.peraeinen 

3. mysterious 



tunnelma. 
'tunnelma 
atmosphere 



)82 PART X: USE AND ADAPTATION OF SCRIPTS 



'The summer rain patters onto the shingle roof. From under the eaves a gentle 
draft comes through the cracks in the wall and the spiders' webs swing and 
sway on the roof-poles. Sometimes sparrows come hopping on the roof. A mys- 
terious atmosphere reigns in the dark garret.' 

— Veikko Huovinen, "Havukka-ahon ajattelija" [The thinker ofHavukka-aho], 

in Ravila 1965: 135. 

Note: 

a The words sade [sade], [sade?] 'rain' and pare [paere], [paere?] 'shingle' ended historically (and still for some 

speakers) in a glottal stop; for all speakers, they geminate a following consonant, as in sade rapisee and 

pdrekattoon. 



73 



Uralic languages 

Benko, Lorand, and Imre Sanhu. 

Practica 134). The Hague 
Galdi, Laszlo, et al., comp. 197 

add. 
Kurman, George. 1968. The 

Uralic and Altaic Series 
Lehikoinen, Laila, and Silva Kjiuru 

ish]|. Helsinki: Helsingin 
Ravila, Paavo. 1965. Finnish 

Mouton. 
Sulkala, Helena, and Merja 
Tauli, Valter. 1973. Standard 

(Acta Universitatis Upsal 



93), 



eds. 1972. The Hungarian Language (Janua Linguarum Series 
Mouton; Budapest: Akademiai Kiado. 
Petofi-szotdr [Petofi dictionary], vol. 1. Budapest: Akademiai Ki- 



Development of Written Estonian (Indiana University Publications 
. Bloomington: Indiana University; The Hague: Mouton. 

1989. Kirjasuomen kehitys [The development of written Finn- 
Yliopiston Suomen Kielen Laitos. 
Literary Reader. Bloomington: Indiana University Press; The Hague: 



Karjal 



ainen. 1992. Finnish. London: Routledge. 
Estonian Grammar, part I : Phonology, Morphology, Word- Formation 
iensis, Studia Uralica et Altaica Upsaliensia8). Uppsala. 



THE WORLD'S 
WRITING SYSTEMS 



Edited by 
Peter T. Daniels 

William Bright